This week I have a delightful guest from merry old England, Adeline St. John. Adeline and I met in 2016 when she reached out to me via Messenger and told me she was my husband’s cousin. After the initial shock–both of my husband’s parents we’re only children–I learned the fascinating story of how she helped find us after her dad spent years searching for his biological father and why I believe I was the one she was supposed to finally make contact with. She shares how her dad found out at the age of 12 his father wasn’t who his mom had always told him he was and the 60 year journey of dead-end leads that finally paid off and led to the confirmation that he’d finally found his real father. This is a story that has the ingredients of a great British novel: mystery, World War II, an English lass and an American soldier and highlights the importance of knowing our family history and legacy in order for us to have a real sense of belonging.
Highlights from the Show
Adeline found our family through People Finder as well as Ancestry.com. If you’re trying to find a family member she recommends having a DNA test done to verify your ancestry so that when you do meet your biological family there’s proof that you really are related. She also suggests talking to people and organizations that can help you wade through all of the information in order to get you on the right track.
Also, if you’re interested in learning how knowing where you come from impacts your level of security and feelings of belonging, check out this article from the New York Times, Why Children Need to Know Their Family History.
Photos and Video
Below is the video Adeline talked about where Robert received a photo of his dad and showed it to his grandchildren for the first time. The surprise on his granddaughter’s face is wonderful! I’ve also included some pictures of Robert and Richard’s families as well as the Roper tombs located in England that we talk about in the episode.
Click below to listen to this podcast episode.